I long for the stability I felt before a virus ravaged the physical and financial health of our planet.
I long for the sense of order I felt before violence erupted our cities in response to the murder of George Floyd by those charged to keep peace.
I long for the feeling of trust I once had in my government, believing most politicians held ideals of public good, even if the policies to achieve it varied.
I now see that the stability, order and trust I felt was a privilege not experienced by people who have inadequate health care, security and opportunity, and who have been victimized by government violence for hundreds of years.
I long for my former comfort but no longer want it at the expense of those who do not have it. I want to be part of the solution to eliminate racism.
We can all participate in reducing racism by protesting, writing, posting, sending donations, and having conversations. We can also do this as employees of “institutions” and “systems” that perpetuate institutional and systemic racism.
As employees, we are conditioned to believe our job is to do what we are told. Ours is not to question. What if we, as employees, decided to take it upon ourselves to look at our work with fresh eyes to see the institutional and structural barriers that reinforce racism?
What if we asked people most affected by racism to tell us what needs to change and actually change it? What if we asked “people of color” employee resource groups to identify the policy and cultural barriers that make them most uncomfortable, and change them? What if we empowered every employee to identify racist practices and name them so we could change them?
We don’t need to overthrow our organizations to bring a sense of justice to work. We need only become more educated, more aware and more courageous to question and speak up when things just don’t seem right.
“The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing” (Albert Einstein).
Let’s do something.